UMA ELEAZU ADVOCATES ‘STRATEGIC AUTONOMY’ FOR SOUTH EAST, CONFIDENT GOV OTTI WILL SUCCEED
Elder statesman, Dr. Uma Eleazu, has expressed confidence in the capacity of Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, to deliver on his promises to the people.
Eleazu, 93, who visited the Governor in his country home, Nvosi, Isialangwa South on Sunday, July 23, 2023, said he came to formally congratulate Dr. Otti on successfully assuming office, having missed the opportunity to attend his inauguration owing to ill health.
“This is my first time of coming to sit down with him to chat because I couldn’t come to the inauguration. I called him and told him that I wouldn’t be able to make it to Umuahia. I wasn’t feeling too well then, you know my age (93).
“I have had a heart-to-heart chat with him and I told him that I’m available to offer whatever development advise that he would require of me. When I was with UNDP, I was a private sector development adviser and I worked in Kenya, Uganda, and for five years I worked to make the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) a household name.
“So, we talked about the development, strategy for all of the South East,” Dr. Eleazu, who has been a long time friend of the Governor said.
The astute intellectual advocated for the concept of “Strategic Autonomy”, where the Igbo of South East will control the economy of Nigeria from within as against agitation for a separate country.
Consequently, he called on the Governors of the South East states to come together and work to create the conducive environment for such to fructify.
Dr. Eleazu said he was confident that Governor Otti would do well in his present job because he had demonstrated capacity as a former bank chief executive officer, adding that the people of Abia State needed somebody like him.
“We had discussed many things even when he was not running for office. When he came out the first time, in 2014, he came to my house in Ohafia with his team, and we said, yes. These were the elite of the society – technocrats, professionals, intellectuals and business people.
“We said we needed somebody like him. He has been a banker, he’s an economist, understands development, he can reach out to those who have the financial houses and all that. But unfortunately, he didn’t get it at that time.
“This time again, he came out once more and was successful. I am confident that he will do well because of his background. He has run a bank successfully,” the elder statesman, who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Anya Ndigbo, an inner caucus helping to bring a reform to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, declared.
Gov Otti, had in a writeup in 2021 on his column, ‘Outside the Box’, paid a tribute to Eleazu, describing him as “among the last of a vanishing breed”, adding that “Nigeria has only a handful of his kind who practice what they preach”.
He thanked the nonagenarian for coming to felicitate with him and prayed for good health and strength for him.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
July 23, 2023
Alex C. Otti